NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you feel the way I do about the housing recovery you're happy as all get-out to see both new and existing home sales rising almost monthly. Homebuilders are feeling more confident as well and new home construction is buoyant.Builders began construction in December 2012 at a seasonally adjusted rate of 954,000 new homes. That enthusiastic number is nearly double the rate hit during the Great Recession low reached in April 2009. On Wednesday the Commerce Department reports housing starts for January 2013.
Still, while many are still quite optimistic about the housing recovery, the majority of economists anticipate the rate of new construction to have ratcheted downward a bit. The question for stock investors is whether that will cool down the home-building related stocks such as Weyerhaeuser (WY - Get Report). WY has been one of the darlings of the sector and has risen dramatically over the past year, as the following chart demonstrates flamboyantly. Along with the share price I've included the diluted quarterly year-over-year earnings per share so you can see what's driving the price trend. WY data by YCharts
One of the analysts to whom I listen as often as possible is Jim Cramer. As the markets continued to move higher on Tuesday, Cramer and the co-portfolio manager of
"As a top Pacific Northwest timberland company (25% of sales), it is in terrific position to benefit from the turn in housing due to the declining supplies from British Columbia, improving Asian export demand and limited exposure to paper producing regions like the South and Northeast.